Should Donors Be Upset About The New Crystal Cathedral Owners Removing Their Names?

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Now that Pastor Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral has been sold to the Catholic Church, big changes are happening. For instance, it’s being reported that a walkway constructed of bricks with engraved names of Crystal Cathedral donors is being pulled up to make way for new landscaping. Although the new owners are making the bricks available to donors who would like to claim them, it’s still causing an

How to Succeed on Kickstarter

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To date there have been more than 100,000 projects launched on Kickstarter, but less than 43% actually meet their goals and are funded. What’s the problem? You may be sincere, hard working, and even had a great cause to fund, but without covering these important bases, the odds of striking out are huge. Here’s a good list from our social media expert Bailey Current of what you need to succeed on Kickstarter:

In a Digital World, What’s the Best Method for Fundraising?

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I have posted many articles on this blog regarding the need for churches, ministries, and nonprofits to continue to use direct mail as a means of donor development.  But I’m always met with some push back from people focused more on texting, or online giving. After all, e-mail and social media are cheap and quick and they target a vast percentage of the population. But the problem is this:

Do You Suffer from Church or Ministry Marketing Schizophrenia?

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Direct mail and fundraising consultant Dale Berkey talked to me recently about how ministries and the marketing of ministries need to be intertwined.  Many Christian organizations have a kind of ministry/marketing schizophrenia. Which symptoms from this list can you identify in your church or ministry?

Non-Profits: Why Not Try Humor to Share Your Message?

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Sure it’s a world where great causes are often difficult, and deal with horrible issues like poverty, homelessness, or drug abuse.  As a result, most efforts at sharing the message of non-profits are deadly serious.  But more and more creative non-profit organizations are mining the virtues of humor in messaging, and it’s working.  Variety Magazine covered a “mockumentary” called “The Majestic Plastic Bag” produced for the Heal the Bay environmental group.  It’s fabulous.  Narrated by Jeremy Irons, it’s been a huge success with more than 100,000 views just in the first 5 days on YouTube.  To date, it’s been seen by nearly 2 million viewers.  Obviously we shouldn’t trivialize serious issues, but

How to Stage a Memorable Banquet

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I know, I know. I write on media, faith, and culture, but this time I have to speak out on a topic close to my heart (and stomach). If I have to attend one more poorly planned rubber chicken event for an organization’s fundraising, anniversary, or award, I’ll slice my wrists. Come on people, banquets can actually be fun, not the torture sessions we usually sit through. So if you have to plan an event in the near future, here’s some tips to keep in mind (if you don’t want me leaving early):

What Are Your Nonprofit Donors Looking For?

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Today – on Valentine’s Day, I asked donor development expert Mary Hutchinson about advice on “courting” donors for nonprofit organizations.  Here’s what she had to say:

For the most part, they are silent and faceless, but the people who give to your non-profit—dare I say it—do indeed have feelings.  Yes, that pesky little thing that most men hate to talk about, and most women need stroked to move them to any decision. And face it, men may have most of the money, but it is women that make the lion share of decisions about giving. Not only that, but

Non-Profits: Cut Out Your Media, and You Bleed to Death

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Churches, ministries, and nonprofits:  Never forget that outside God of course, your congregation and/or donors are your source – and your media platforms and outreaches are your lifeline to that source.  A few years ago a couple of national media ministries cut as many as 1/3 of their TV stations to save money – without realizing they were cutting 1/3 of their donor contact.  Now, years later, they still have yet to recover.  It’s important to constantly evaluate results, make changes, and tweak, but be very careful about drastic media changes just to save money.  Your most vital links to your donors are